Did you know that 31 percent of households in the United States of America have at least one firearm in them? A huge part of choosing to own firearms and partaking in gun ownership is understanding and abiding by gun safety tips. Handling a gun is a big responsibility and it is up to you to know the gun safety rules in order to keep those around you safe at all times.
Owning a gun is a big step towards learning how to hunt for game as well as to provide self-defense and home defense. These are great things to have but there is much more that you need to consider when you start taking your first steps towards buying a gun.
The good news is that you’re in the perfect place to learn all about the most important gun safety rules that come with gun ownership. Keep reading this article to learn everything you need to know when it comes to owning a gun.
1. Keep Your Gun Unloaded When Stored
One of the first things that you should do when it comes to owning a gun is to remember to unload it before storing it. If you’re someone that doesn’t want to unload your firearms prior to storing them then you need to consider investing in a gun safe for your home.
If you don’t want to keep a gun safe in your home then it is a wise move to keep all of your firearms unloaded when you’re not using them. Doing this might seem counterintuitive if you’re using your firearms for home defense but you should find a close location to keep your ammunition. Taking these steps will allow you to load your firearm in short order if someone attempts to break in.
Keeping a loaded firearm in your home is asking for a serious accident to happen. Find a safe place to store your firearm and a close location for the ammunition.
2. Always Handle a Firearm Like It Is Loaded
It doesn’t matter if you have a flawless record with owning and handling firearms, you always need to handle firearms as if they’re loaded. A good approach is to check the breech to make sure that there are no rounds in the chamber prior to handling.
Even after confirming that the firearm doesn’t have any ammunition in it, you need to always handle it with the utmost respect and care. People handling firearms in an irresponsible way because they believe they’re not loaded is one of the most common causes of firearm injuries and fatalities.
3. Never Point a Gun at Something You Don’t Intend to Shoot
No matter if you’ve confirmed that the firearm is not loaded, it is still a good rule of thumb to avoid pointing a firearm at anything that you don’t intend to shoot. You should always try to keep the barrel of the firearm pointing in a neutral direction for safety reasons.
Taking this safety measure is important because it ensures that everyone remains safe even if the firearm ends up being loaded and discharging. The only time that you should point the firearm in a non-neutral location is when you’re ready to shoot at your target.
4. Keep Your Finger Off of the Trigger
Another important thing to remember when it comes to gun safety tips for the new gun owner is to always keep your finger off of and away from the trigger. A big cause of accidents related to firearms is someone handling a gun in an irresponsible way. You need to make sure that your finger is off of and away from the trigger when you’re handling a firearm.
Little things like keeping your finger off of the trigger are sure ways to keep yourself and those around you safe at all times. The last thing that you want is to accidentally harm someone because you didn’t keep your finger away from the trigger when you weren’t planning to shoot.
5. Keep the Barrel Clean
You should also make sure that the barrel of the firearm is clear of any debris or obstructions before taking steps to fire. Avoid pointing the firearm or the barrel at your own head when checking the barrel to see that it is clear. If you’re hunting and you drop your rifle or set it down it is possible that some dirt or debris made its way into the barrel of the firearm.
You also need to be aware of the cleanliness of your firearm’s barrel if you’ve waded through the water while carrying it with you. If you carry your firearm through water then it is a wise move to make sure that you’ve drained the barrel of any and all moisture before firing.
6. Know What You Aim At
Another important component of gun safety is making sure that you have a full understanding of what you’re aiming at and planning to shoot prior to pulling the trigger. It doesn’t matter if you’re target shooting or if you’re hunting, you should identify what you’re aiming at before you shoot.
Following these gun safety tips will keep you and those around you safe because you’ll have a clear idea of what you’re shooting at. You’ll find that this prevents serious injuries to those around you.
You should also think about the material that the bullet you fire will strike when you pull the trigger. If you’re firing at something that has a hard surface then you run the risk of the bullet ricocheting and hitting someone. It is a good idea to avoid shooting at targets with hard surfaces in order to prevent the danger of a ricocheting bullet.
7. Don’t Count On Your Firearm’s Safety
Most types of firearms come with a safety mechanism that is designed to keep the gun from firing. The safety of a firearm is a valuable safety tool but many people become too trusting and dependent on safety to keep themselves and those around them safe.
It is a great feature but you need to ensure that you’re not totally reliant on it when it comes to your gun safety tips. Even when the safety is engaged you need to make sure that you’re abiding by the gun safety rules mentioned earlier in this article.
Another important step to take for keeping those around you safe is avoiding dry firing of your firearms if you’re not 100 percent sure that the firearm is empty.
8. Protect Eyes and Ears
One thing that often goes overlooked when it comes to firing firearms is protecting your eyes and ears. Handling a gun and shooting one involves a controlled explosion of gunpowder. Most times, nothing negative will happen when you pull the trigger and shoot at a confirmed target.
If you’re planning on doing some target shooting then you should always bring safety glasses and ear protection prior to shooting. Shooting large quantities of ammunition will lead to hearing loss if you don’t take measures to protect your ears.
9. Make Your Gun Familiar
If you want to own and operate a firearm then it is important that you’re taking time to become more familiar with how it works and how to handle it. Doing this is one of the key tenets of gun ownership. You should learn how to take your firearm apart and how to reassemble it.
Knowing how to take your firearm apart will make the process of cleaning and maintaining your weapon much easier. You’ll also learn more about the parts of your firearm that are more likely to malfunction. Another thing to learn more about is how to sight your firearm so that you’re shooting in an accurate way.
If you plan on getting your license to carry a concealed firearm then it is a good idea to become familiar with states that recognize your license. Make sure that you’re checking out Reciprocity Maps before carrying your firearm in other states of parts of the country.
10. Clean Your Firearm
A clean firearm is much more likely to operate in a safe manner when you choose to pull the trigger. You’ll always have the best firing conditions when you go hunting or target shooting when you take measures to keep your firearm clean.
Neglecting your firearm will lead to parts malfunctioning and could even cause serious injuries. Avoid using your firearm in an unsafe way by keeping the barrel and all moving parts clean and well oiled.
11. Use the Right Ammo
Your firearm is designed to accommodate and use a certain type and size of ammunition. If you want to keep yourself and others safe when handling a gun then you need to ensure that you’re using the right ammunition with your gun.
One thing to remember is that there are certain firearms that can take multiple types of ammunition. A great example of this is a firearm that is chambered for 5.56mm ammunition. These guns can also use .223 ammunition in a safe and efficient manner. Make sure you do your research on the types of ammunition you can use with your firearm before operating it.
12. Don’t Use Expired Ammunition
Ammo is similar to other products and goods in that it is only good for a certain period of time. Most ammunition will have no problem getting stored for years or even decades if left in the right conditions. With that being said, there are certain things and conditions that cause ammo to go bad at a rapid rate.
The best approach to keeping ammunition from going bad is to keep it stored in a location that is cool and dry. If possible, invest in a sealed container for storing all of your ammo. You’ll get the perfect storage conditions that will allow your ammunition to stay fresh so that it is ready when you need it most.
13. Take Care When Loading Ammunition
Many people that have the responsibility that comes with gun ownership also choose to load their own ammunition rather than purchasing new ammunition from sporting goods or firearm stores. If you choose to take this route then you need to make sure that you take the utmost care during the reloading process.
For the best safety conditions, you should always make sure that your powder and your primers are stored in separate areas. Another good tip is to check your shells in a thorough manner to make sure that they’re not damaged prior to loading them. It is also smart to avoid putting too much powder into your shells.
14. Learn How to Handle Misfires
If you’re operating your firearm and you experience a misfire then it is important to know how to proceed. A good approach to take is to keep your firearm aimed downrange at the target. It is possible that it is a delayed fire round that could go off at any point.
If the firearm doesn’t fire then you should take safety measures to remove the malfunctioning round of ammunition. Once the round is removed from the firearm, take time to examine it for signs of the cause of the misfire. After that task is finished, check the barrel to make sure that it is clear.
15. Find a Firearm You’re Comfortable With
A big part of owning a gun is finding a firearm that you’re comfortable storing, carrying, and using. You need to find a firearm that you’re comfortable with and have a good deal of familiarity with if you want to create the safest conditions for you and those around you.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want to carry your firearm with a round chambered or not. This is especially important if you plan on using a concealed carry license. Doing this will reduce firearm safety but keep you prepared if you find yourself in a life or death situation.
Follow These Gun Safety Tips Today
There are a number of helpful gun safety tips out there that you need to incorporate into your life when you look into owning a gun. Handling a gun is a big responsibility and you owe it to yourself and those around you that you follow all gun safety rules.
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